Washing Husband’s Overalls Thought To Have Led To Asbestos Exposure
The family of a housewife who died from asbestos cancer are appealing for information on her late husband’s work after her exposure to the hazardous substance was thought to have occurred when washing his overalls.
Olive Sewell, from Ipswich, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2019. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following her diagnosis, Olive instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her illness. After she died aged 84 in May last year, her family are continuing the investigation alongside her legal team. They are now appealing for information from former colleagues of Olive’s late husband Arthur after it was believed she was in contact with asbestos when washing his overalls.
In particular, they are seeking details on the conditions faced by Arthur when he worked at Alstons factory in Ipswich, which made furniture.
Expert Opinion“Olive’s death has had a profound effect on her family, and they are desperate to get answers as to how she fell ill.
Through our work we come across many people who have developed disease several decades after being exposed to asbestos, and in Olive’s case it is likely her exposure took place when she was washing Arthur’s work clothes.
We would be grateful if anyone could help with our ongoing investigation by providing information on the conditions Arthur worked in during his time at the Alstons factory in Ipswich. Any detail, no matter how small, could prove vital.”
Samantha Shaw - Senior Associate
Arthur began working at Alstons in the 1960s. He was a maintenance man in the boiler house and retired from the at the age of 64. The company still exists and the factory is now in Colchester following the closure of the Ipswich base.
Arthur died in June 2010 at the age of 79. At the time of his death, he had been married to Olive for 53 years. The couple had three children – Julie, 62, Charmaine, 60, and Stuart, 57.
Stuart said: “Dad worked at the factory when I was a child and I remember him saying afterwards that he thought the boiler house, where he spent most of his time, would have been full of asbestos. The roof of the factory was made from corrugated asbestos sheets, and the boiler and pipework would have been lagged with it.
“He would come home from work and mum would wash his clothes, which were often dusty and dirty. When mum was diagnosed with mesothelioma, we instantly believed this had been the cause.
“To lose dad and then have to watch mum deteriorate was devastating, and while we can’t do anything to change what happened, we are determined to get the answers mum deserved before she died.
“We would appreciate if anyone with information could come forward and help us.”
Anyone that may be able to assist with this case is asked to contact Samantha Shaw on 01223 791815 or by e-mail at Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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